20th November 2011

Temptation

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…”
Ephesians 2:4-6
 

Have you seen the car sticker which says, “I can resist anything but temptation”?

Like many humorous things, it’s funny because it’s all too true. Even as Christian believers, we find ourselves losing the battle with temptation far more often than we’d like. And if we believe that Jesus came as a great teacher and role model to show us the right way to live, we can even fall into fear and despair about our salvation, realising that we will never measure up to his perfection.

But the truth is, if Jesus were merely a great teacher and role model, we would have no hope at all for salvation. That’s because none of us perfectly follows Jesus’ example. Jesus never sinned. He was perfect but, try as we might, we never have been and never will be. Even though the Holy Spirit dwells in us and leads us, we simply are not in tune with the Spirit the way that Jesus was.

That’s why the gospel is such good news. The gospel is not that Jesus was the world’s greatest teacher and role model, though he was. The gospel is that Jesus fulfilled for us in our place every righteous requirement of the law. He overcame every temptation in our place, as one of us, both representing us and substituting for us before God. Then he died and rose from the dead for us, and sits at the Father’s right hand, both as the perfect glorified human being and the Son of God. In Jesus God has healed and restored humanity. He has drawn humanity into Jesus’ own intimate relationship with the Father as his beloved son.

In Jesus God destroyed the work of the devil and defeated sin—our sin—once and for all. That’s the good news. That’s the gospel.

How can you lose out on such a great salvation? Only by not trusting the giver of the gift. By not trusting God to be who he says he is for you—your Redeemer and Saviour. By not trusting God to love you, to forgive you, to transform you, as he says he has already done for you in Christ.

That’s what the apostle Paul tells us in the quote given above.  The gospel really is good news! Trouble is, for many of us, it seems too good to be true. We want to have at least a short list of “do’s and don’ts” to separate the wheat from the chaff. But God gave us no list. He gave us himself. In Christ, we have everything we need for salvation.

Prayer
Most magnificent Father, please accept our thanks for the gift to us of Jesus Christ, his life and his sacrifice. It’s not much in way of return, but it’s all we have. Help us to use that gift to motivate us to live as perfectly as we can the Christian way of life, the way of life you have called us to. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Joseph Tkach 

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Comments

One Response to “20th November 2011”

  1. Gerhard Van Zyl on November 20th, 2011 10:29 pm

    Really enjoyed the inspiring piece!!!!
    Humility comes before honour.
    May God comfort us and lead us down the right path.

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